Garden City Bird Sanctuary

The girls of Daisy Troop 1362 recently visited the Garden City Bird
Sanctuary.  They filled several types of birdfeeders.  Several "standard" feeders and a squirrel-proof feeder were filled with sunflower seed; a finch feeder was filled with nyjer seed; a suet feeder was filled with a suet "cake," and a hummingbird feeder was filled with nectar.  Along with these feeders, a number of homemade feeders were also placed in trees.   The birds of the sanctuary had a feast after the girls went home!

Benefit Yard Sale at Garden City Bird Sanctuary

The popular TV show, "Flea Market Flip" has contestants buying unusual items at the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market to "flip." Buyers found they could get their own antiques, collectibles and yard sale items a lot closer to home at the Benefit Yard Sale, and at reasonable prices. One buyer remarked that the Garden City Bird Sanctuary sale was even better than the Connecticut flea market, while another buyer said he was happy to pick up a Roseville piece for under $5.  A total of 22 families rented the large spaces for the April 25th sale with proceeds going to upcoming programs at the nonprofit site. 
Benefit Yard Sale organizers Annette Seltzer, Liz Bailey and Suzie Alvey would like to thank the following TPEC/GCBS volunteers: Garden City High School HOPE Club's Nina Bangalore and the GCBS directors who helped: Joanne Kastalek, Evan Sandgren and Rob Alvey.

Upcoming Tanners Pond Environmental Center events will be the popular children's Nature Adventures program in July, coordinated with the Village of Garden City Recreation Department, the Twilight Tours of the preserve during the summer and the 20th Anniversary Gala on October 2 at the Nassau Bar Association.

The TPEC/GCBS is a non-profit organization, 501(c) 3. Donations gratefully accepted. It’s open on Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 5pm and by appointment and is located opposite 181 Tanners Pond Road. Please visit our website at, e-mail or call 516.326.1720.
Photo by Suzie Alvey

October 2, 2015  8 PM to Midnight

Honorees: Diana O’Neill and John Watras

Hold the date! The GCBS will be back at the Nassau Bar Association on Friday, October 2nd celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the start of a little “sump-thing” that grew into a million dollar community and environmental asset.  Honorees for the gala are Diana O’Neill, the dynamic leader of the Long Island Volunteer Center, which just celebrated its own 20th Anniversary in 2014, and John Watras, the creative and go-to guy who became Garden City’s Mayor for 2013 – 2015.
This is a true gala event with open bar, full entre dinner, and raffles, including the popular 50-50 raffle.  It’s a fun evening with short films, special guests, prizes and surprises as we recognize the value and accomplishments of so many people who have made a difference to the community and the environment.  Rob Alvey, Founder of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary back in 1995, will be Master of Ceremonies for the gala.  Tickets for the gala are $100 each.  Look for the formal announcement in the near future.  If you or your company would like to be a sponsor, donate a raffle item or place an ad in the event journal, contact GCBS volunteer Ann Thompson at or Gala Chairperson Joanne Kastalek at

By John W. Cronin,
 President of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary/Tanners Pond Environmental Center

 On January 10, 2015, the Garden City Bird Sanctuary/Tanners Pond Environmental Center (GCBS/TPEC) will be celebrating its seventh annual Winterfest. It’s a holiday unique to us and our supporters. Deep in significance and rich in symbolism, Winterfest is there as a reminder that we, who are involved in this ecological endeavor, do so out of an interest/talent of the head, heart, or hands. There have been whole books dedicated to leadership styles based on the head, heart, and hands; but the principles apply most aptly to those who volunteer to make their little corner of the world a better place.
Our Founder, past president, and current member on the Board of Directors, Mr. Rob Alvey, turned a nine-acre storm water basin full of junk into a shining jewel of environmental stewardship. He has the gift of leading with head, heart and hands. He then inspired the rest of us to follow, bringing our talents to sustain what he started. However, everyone does not have talents in all three areas, like Rob Alvey.
When you’re a volunteer leading with your head, you realize the importance of environmental stewardship and use your God-given gift of intelligence in thinking of various ways to raise funds and brainstorm ideas for solving our problems. You rely on the professional knowledge of yourself and others to find unique ways of keeping the dream alive. Those on the Board of Directors, like me, contribute to setting a vision and can run meetings according to Robert’s Rules of Order. The “nuts and bolts” of legal requirements and filing paperwork are top on the agenda of helping.

Volunteers leading with their heart love our work fervently. After a vision has been established, they eagerly set out to spread the word and invite others to join. Their passion is contagious and inspires people. They volunteer to help out at various functions, like Halloween Fest, and encourage everyone to attend. You can find them at most of our events.
Those who give with the gift of their hands serve happily by getting those same hands dirty. They can be seen planting, building, watering, etc. What the head conceives and the heart inspires, the hands bring to fruition by doing the “dirty work.”  We have volunteers who have one or more of these three great talents to share, and they are the reason we still thrive. The GCBS/TPEC will celebrate its twenty year anniversary in 2015, and it’s all thanks to our wonderful volunteers. Rob Alvey is one of those rare individuals who can lead with head, heart and hands. Winterfest was founded in 2009 because Rob inspired those of us on the Board of Directors to honor the men and women, just like Rob, who make all worthwhile endeavors a reality and sustain them over the years.

  It is my honor to invite all who wish to be there to the seventh annual Winterfest, the GCBS/TPEC’s own holiday that celebrates these wonderful characteristics and our supporters; “people of good will” is a phrase you will hear quite a lot at our ceremonies!
Winterfest begins at 4 p.m. as twilight approaches. As our supporters file in, there is warm coco to drink as we fill the birdfeeders and put up some decorations for our fine feathered friends. About 4:30 p.m., we have a poem recitation around our newly planted trees. Then we culminate the event with our Candle-lighting Ceremony in which we have the “Great Telling.” Just as some Native Americans have a ceremony that describes the history of their tribe, the Directors tell the story of the GCBS and Winterfest itself. Each Director tells a part of the story. During the ceremony we will publicly honor one or two of our outstanding helpers and then remember with gratitude both the persons who dedicated trees in 2014 for someone special (either in honor or in memoriam) and those people for whom they were planted.
At Winterfest we also remember the past year’s accomplishments and dream of the ones to come in 2015. We celebrate Winterfest in the middle of the gloomiest time of the year when the days are short, the nights are bitter cold, and nature sleeps in the seeming throes of death. Why? Because our message of hope is “All Winters Must Come to an End.”  Not only will the seasonal winter pass to a new springtime of life, but the various “winters” in our lives will also pass. The winter of health problems, financial worries, relationship problems, work related problems—all these “winters” will eventually end. The great religions of the world tell us that the winter of death itself is not the end of us, but a passing into a new life. As long as we donate our talents to the best of our God-given ability to make the world a better place, things will work out. Winterfest is an opportunity for a communal hope that things will be better this coming year and allows people to focus on what unites us, rather than divides us.
​Winterfest shall take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at the front gate of the GCBS opposite 181 Tanners Pond Road regardless of the weather. The event is free and open to the general public. Hope to see you all there with heads, hearts, and hands united!

Announcing ticket sales for the May 8 benefit performance of Mark Twain.


Show Date: Friday May 8, 2015 8pm Theatre: Garden City Casino

51 Cathedral Avenue Garden City, NY 11530


"Mark Twain - Alive Again in Garden City" Tickets $35

About the Show: In celebration of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary's 20th Anniversary, the famous American author and humorist, Mark Twain, has agreed to provide an entertaining and original performance: "Mark Twain - Alive Again in Garden City". (Yes, we know Samuel Clemens has been dead for over 100 years, but Mark Twain will live forever.) The show, featuring Rob Alvey as Mark Twain, is a benefit for the Garden City Bird Sanctuary's educational and Humboldt University's forest research programs. The humorous and touching performance will be held on stage at the historic Garden City Casino.

Rob Alvey, Founder and President Emeritus of the innovative Garden City Bird Sanctuary, not only has an uncanny resemblance to Mark Twain, but has performed as Twain on Broadway and for the Garden City Historical Society to sold out audiences. The work is a tribute to Mark Twain as well as Hal Holbrook.

ORDER TICKETS NOW: EMAIL or call (516) 326-1720

Visit the Garden City Bird Sanctuary on the Internet at or at the Facebook Group “Garden City Bird Sanctuary. The GC Bird Sanctuary was started in 1995 under a dual use program in cooperation with Nassau County and the Village of Garden City.

Click for Playbill Ad Form

A brief bit of news - with a video link from FIOS TV on the GC Bird Sanctuary

Since you've been following the "news" on the development of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary/Tanners Pond Env Center and Arboretum, you might like to see the video (about 5 minutes) shown on FIOS TV this month about the volunteer work we do.  
Thanks again for your interest and support!  Please remember to "rejoin!" The funds DO make a difference.

Halloween Haunted Hikes

The TPEC is setting up for the Halloween fun with the Halloween Fest and Costume Parade set for Saturday October 25, from 3-5PM (rain date is Sunday Oct 26 2-4.) Games, contests, arts & crafts, with oodles of prizes and the popular Halloween Costume Parade at the Bird Sanctuary. Enjoy face painting, mail sack races, recycle rally relay, or make your own totebag. Reserve tickets by emailing Tickets are $10 each for this children’s event.

Friday and Saturday evenings 6-10 are the super popular Halloween Haunted Hikes! Take an escorted tour along the spider-webbed and holiday lighted trails but watch out! This year the place has been overrun with invasive species, and even genetically modified food! The hike isn’t your run of the mill fright fest, its a fun, creepy, and spooky walk where you meet the real horrors - every one environmentally themed, from a toxic waste spill, to a flock of Angry Birds, giant roaches, invasive vines, lovely but poisonous butterflies, the weed wizard, and Dr Jeckle Honeydew’s madly genetically engineered killer corn, tomatoes and vegetables, that just might want to snack on YOU! Don’t worry, its all in fun, and there are spooky and not so spooky walks offered for all ages.

Enjoy a Halloween snack or a drink from our refreshment stand, and support both the Girl Scouts and the community’s nature preserve. You and your family will enjoy the time, but watch out for the overly cute plastic bag monsters, so don’t litter. 

On Sunday Oct 26, there is a SINGLE expanded hike scheduled starting at 8PM...(We don’t want our volunteer boo crew to turn into zombies!) Come and enjoy! Tickets are $10 for the hike. Group discounts are available through Oct 20. Email or call (516) 326-1720.

 Photo caption: Claire Werner selling items at the Bird Sanctuary Spring Yard Sale.  Photo by Suzie Alvey.

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